It’s that time of year again: pumpkin-spice everything, fall leaves, and new Apple Watch models! This year Apple released not only a Series 8 watch, but also the activity-hardened Apple Watch Ultra. And for most of us who already own a previous-generation Apple Watch, watchOS 9 brings a ton of improvements to the assistant on our wrists.
To make sense of it all, I’ve just released the latest edition of my book Take Control of Apple Watch. This new third edition now incorporates 246 pages of essential information about the watch—and is still available for just $14.99. (If you own a previous edition, check your email for discount upgrade pricing.)
[Update: I chatted with Chuck Joiner at MacVoices about the book and the new watches and watchOS 9.]
Should you buy a new watch? I jumped from my Series 6 to a Series 8, leaving the Ultra for the folks who do far more physical exercise than I do, but of course that’s just my experience. In the book I help you decide which model to get, and then open up about all the different features you may not know are there.
As usual, Apple rolled in a lot of big and small changes to watchOS that get lost in the main marketing materials; be sure to check out the Take Control of Apple Watch product page for more details on what’s new in this edition. Here’s a short list of noteworthy changes in the book.
- On the hardware front, this edition covers the new Apple Watch Series 8, Apple Watch SE (2022), and Apple Watch Ultra (which features the Action Button).
- Power Reserve mode has been replaced with a new Low Power mode that isn’t as restrictive (and another Ultra-specific battery-saving mode is coming in late 2022).
- Apple continues to focus on the health-related features of the watch, so I’ve pushed the “Stay Healthy with the Apple Watch” section forward in the book.
- The method of changing which metrics appear during a workout has gotten an overhaul, which is reflected in “Customize the Workout Display.”
- The watch (and iPhone) can help you stay on top of your medications by reminding you to take your meds and even highlight possible adverse drug interactions.
- The “Track Your Cycle” section has been updated to include the new temperature sensors on the Series 8 and Ultra models, and how they can help predict ovulation cycles.
- The Compass app in watchOS 9 is completely different, with the capability to mark waypoints and use the new Backtrack feature to retrace your steps on some models.
- The latest watches can help detect if you’ve been in a car crash and then automatically contact emergency resources. See “Detect Falls and Crashes.”
(I should probably disclaim that the ebook works great on all other devices, but the image above is a composite I made of the book cover on my Apple Watch. A couple of ebook-reading apps for the watch appear in the App Store, but they’re all in Russian.)